A growth in supplying produce to the retail sector has paid off for Homegrown Organics during the pandemic.
The business had a reasonably small percentage of its sales linked to restaurants and cafes in the early days of the pandemic and made the decision to grow its supply of fresh produce to retail outlets such as fruit and vegetable shops.
Those essential businesses have stayed open during lockdowns.
Desley Bailey from Homegrown Organics said the business would have struggled during the pandemic it had sold a large percentage of its produce to cafes and restaurants.
It continues to supply restaurants and cafes, along with retail outlets, as well as home deliveries and market sales.
Home delivery orders are booming with more people conscious about their food choices.
"We have a lot more people concerned about food security after seeing what happened with panic buying in supermarkets," Mrs Bailey said.
"They have realised the importance of knowing where their food comes from."
Mrs Bailey said the business was keen to support the community when possible.
"We are fortunate we will never go hungry and we are hoping we can help other people to feel that way," she said.
The family business grows about 35 crops from snow peas to kale, carrots, leeks and tomatoes on a farm at Upper Rollands Plains, as well as sourcing produce from other local growers.
Rosemarie Sidler from Rosemarie's Vegetables and Flowers and Engineering noticed more people supporting the markets since the pandemic hit although COVID restrictions meant some markets had been cancelled.
She said the weekly Real Food Markets in Port Macquarie had been a lifesaver for the business with strong support from customers.
The business also gives back to the community by providing a box of vegetables to the Port Anglican Soup Kitchen every Tuesday.
Mrs Sidler hopes the days of lockdowns are over as the state embraces a staged reopening in line with vaccination thresholds.
She has devoted time to tasks such as growing more seedlings during the pandemic.
Mrs Sidler looks after the vegetables and flower arm of the business, while her husband Fred runs the engineering enterprise.
The market business started with selling a few buckets of homegrown blooms 25 years ago. Today the business sells flowers and produce grown at the couple's Comboyne Road property, as well as produce from other growers.
Mrs Sidler said they were always looking for different opportunities.
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